[FPSPACE] key Shahab man dies
Robert G Kennedy III
Thu, 12 Jul 2001 08:45:11 -0300
Thanks to those of you who wrote to me offline about Polyus, Zarya, and the
TKS. The following is a bit off-topic, but at least it's about rockets.
"You aim for the stars, but sometimes you hit Baghdad..."
July 12, 2001
Key Iranian Missile Man Dies Mysteriously
By Arieh O'Sullivan
TEL AVIV (July 12) - The brain behind Teheran's effort to build
medium-range missiles capable of reaching Israel was reportedly found dead
in Iran under mysterious circumstances.
Ali Mahmudi Mimand was one of the chief engineers in the Iranian Defense
Ministry's Satellite and Aeronautics Industry. According to the Saudi
Arabian newspaper Ashark al-Awsat, he was known as the "father of the
On Monday night, Mimand was found semi-conscious in his office, a source in
his department told Ashark al-Awsat. He was rushed to a military hospital
but died before he could receive medical treatment.
But other sources said Mimand was killed by an unexplained explosion at the
Shahid Hemat Industrial Group research facility just south of Teheran,
where technical tests were being carried out on an advance launching
apparatus to be used for the Shihab-3 medium-range ballistic missile.
Israel has been closely watching the Iranian progress in its missile
development. On Monday, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said in
Turkey that the Shihab-3 was close to becoming operational.
The report of Mimand's demise is bound to generate a lot of interest among
intelligence officials in Israel and the West, who are likely trying to
figure out just what impact it will have on the ambitious Iranian missile
Mimand headed the Zelzal (earthquake) group which is working on four
Shihab-3 projects. The Shihab 3 is believed to be a derivative of the North
Korean Nodong-1, has a range of 1,300 km., and is capable of carrying a
750-1,000 kg warhead, according to the Federation of American Scientists,
which monitors weapons development.
The Iranians have a robust missile industry and Mimand was also working on
the Shihab-4, with a range of about 2,000 km. Mimand was recently awarded
the prestigious "Ayatollah Khomeni" citation for developing an
air-to-surface rocket for Iran's attack helicopters.
Robert Kennedy, PE